“I love you!” I say that to my wife a lot. I’m supposed to say it a lot, right? And it’s true—I DO love my wife, and I want to tell her I do. I’ve said it so much by now that I sometimes say it without even having to think about it! It’s AUTOMATIC!
That’s not the way it usually starts out, though. For most of us, the first time you tell a girl you love her, it’s a BIG DEAL. Maybe you knew how she’d take it; maybe you didn’t. Either way, your heart was probably pounding! When you said it, I bet you meant it. You may have said it during a great date, or at an event, or on a special occasion. You probably said it in a way or in a place or at a time when she knew you meant it.
But here’s a tough question. When you say “I love you” NOW, does your partner know you mean it? Do you say it to her when you’re spending time with her, helping her in some way, comforting her at a difficult time? Or is it more of a “Love ya babe” as you’re on your way out the door to play golf or hang out with your buddies?
ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS. That’s an old saying, and it got to be an old saying by being true! You use words and speech to TALK to your wife, but you also COMMUNICATE with her by your ACTIONS! I can tell my wife that I love her, but do my actions confirm that? What are my actions actually saying to her? DO MY ACTIONS MATCH MY WORDS?
I heard of something called “mirror neurons.” There are different schools of thought about what they do and how central they are to particular brain and motor functions, and a lot of study is yet to be conducted regarding them. One school of thought, however, has put forward an “action understanding” hypothesis—the mirror neurons are the neural basis for our ability to understand the actions of others. It theorizes that the neurons don’t respond to a lot of random sounds and meaningless gestures, but that they respond more to sights and sounds with clear goals.
How do you talk to your wife? Do the sights and sounds (words and actions) that you present to her lead her to a clear understanding of your love for her? When she talks to you, do you listen? When she asks you to do something, do you respond with a distracted “Yes, dear” or “Uh huh” and then forget what she asked you to do?
Another old saying is “Talk is Cheap!” Our real investment is in our actions, because they are what take time and energy. We can all think of people who have told us one thing and done something else. We all have more confidence in and appreciation for someone whose words we can depend on.
I want my wife to have confidence in me. I want her know that she can depend on me, and on what I say to her. When I tell her I love her, I want her to feel my love. When I tell her I’ll do something, I want her to know that I will follow through. When my actions match my words, it adds stability and security to our love, our marriage, and our lives together.
When you talk to your wife, does she hear what you are saying, or do your actions drown out your words?
Living and Leading by Example (to the best of my ability),
P.S. If you need some support in learning how to match your actions to your words (so you can rev up the romance in your relationship), I’ve got a very special offer coming to you in just a few short weeks!